2nd-round draft pick Jeffery signs with Bears
Alshon Jeffery, a wide receiver selected in the second round by the Bears, became the first 2012 draft pick to agree to terms with the team Wednesday.
Bears contract negotiator Cliff Stein, who has a reputation for getting his team's draft picks signed more quickly than other clubs, is off to another fast start this year.
Jeffery, the 6-foot-3, 216-pound wide receiver from South Carolina, is the earliest second-round pick to agree to a deal since the Cowboys signed wide receiver Kevin Williams on April 28, 1993.
Terms of Jeffery's deal were not immediately disclosed, but it is expected to be similar to the $4.448 million, four-year deal that the Denver Broncos gave last season to safety Rahim Moore, the 45th overall pick in that draft. That contract included a $1.73 million signing bonus.
In just three seasons at South Carolina, Jeffery caught 183 passes for 3,042 yards and 23 touchdowns in 40 games. In 2010 he had 88 receptions for 1,517 yards and 9 touchdowns. His 3,042 career receiving yards are a school-record, and the second most in SEC history.
The Bears relinquished their fifth-round pick to trade up five spots with the St. Louis Rams in order to get Jeffery. He was the highest rated player remaining on the Bears' board, according to general manager Phil Emery, and one of the top three receivers in the entire draft in their evaluations.
"Alshon has the best hands in the draft," Emery said. "H is the best at adjusting to the ball. We feel he is the best sideline and end zone catcher in the draft. He's dynamic with the ball in his hands. He's a big man. He's strong. He's tough. He doesn't go down without a fight."
The only knock on Jeffery leading into the draft was a supposed lack of speed. Most of the 40-yard-dash times listed for him were in the 4.6-second range. Emery, however, said he timed Jeffery at 4.47 and 4.42 in the 40 at his pro day workout in March.
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